Take whatever you first thought the cloud was and multiply it. The learning curve of AWS, Azure, or OpenStack is compounded by the fact that most cloud users rely on more than one cloud provider. In a survey of IT executives, the research firm IDC found that 84% of them expect to use multiple clouds from different providers. If you thought the cloud was complex, using multiple clouds must be even more complicated. Cisco created its multicloud strategy to address this very issue.
Clouds, Clouds, and More Clouds
When we say multicloud, we are really talking about cloud services from multiple providers. According to the market research firm Gartner, the top three public cloud providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and Google. AWS remains the biggest player. IBM is also among the providers, with their Bluemix and SoftLayer businesses. And the Chinese firm Alibaba and the software giant Oracle are also in the game.
Add to that the open source software OpenStack and you have the main players in what is becoming a broad cloud services market.Terms used to classify these clouds include public, private, proprietary, or open source. And of course, a cloud can be some hybrid combination. All these clouds are designed to comply with RESTful API Standards, which are meant to be common, documented, extensible, and open.
Managing the Complexities
Kip Compton of Cisco blogged about the complex nature of a multicloud infrastructure. “This growing complexity has less to do with the value of the individual services,” he wrote, “and more to do with how to efficiently and effectively manage, secure, deliver, and gain insights across all the cloud services you use.” It’s one thing to have access to wonderful cloud services. It’s another to effectively make them work for you.
Compton suggests three questions to ask when defining your own multicloud strategy:
- How will you manage these different cloud providers?
- How will you make sure your users, data, and applications are secure?
- How will you balance what’s on and off prem?
A Multicloud World
Compton goes on to describe a multicloud world. “This strategy addresses applications and data everywhere—regardless of cloud technology or deployment model,” he said. The Cisco multicloud strategy involves a partner ecosystem and security everywhere. The multicloud world includes both technology partners and marketing partners.
The pillars of Cisco’s cloud strategy are:
- Multicloud Infrastructure
- Cisco Cloud Offers
- Cisco Powered Services
- DNA (Digital Network Architecture) for the Cloud
- Cloud Professional Services
Cisco’s multicloud portfolio includes:
- Cloud Advisory
- Cloud Connect
- Cloud Protect
- Cloud Consume
Each of these pillars and portfolio components represent fully developed programs and systems. Advisors are available from Cisco and their partners to help design and plan your multicloud infrastructure. There is an emphasis on the connection of public and private clouds. Security is of primary importance. And ultimately Cisco wants to work with customers in the deployment and management of their cloud applications.
It’s clear that Cisco has devoted a great amount of time, effort, and money to deal with multicloud environments. They purchased great companies like CliQr, OpenDNS, CloudLock, AppDynamics, and Viptela. And they have developed great tools for single pane of glass management of all cloud resources. Simplicity and flexibility are key to Cisco’s multicloud strategy. Despite the complexities of dealing with the various offerings of multiple cloud service providers, Cisco has managed to put it all together in a way that customers can readily manage and control. Cisco’s multicloud strategy encompasses all you ever thought about cloud computing environments and more.
BayInfotehch’s MultiCloud offerings are listed at this link: